Unearth the heritage and history of the U.S. government
- Take a tour of American government, with an up-close look at the three branches with our high school history curriculum.
- Consider modern-day economic theories and values in light of God's perspective on possessions with our homeschool bible curriculum.
- Encounter the "great American novel," along with noteworthy short stories, plays, poems, biographies and more.
- Discover practical ways to live out a faith that is relevant to and integrates with our government, culture and the world.
- Purchase this package and you'll get free shipping (lower 48), Forum access, a one-year guarantee and other perks.
The how and why of our government and economy, plus a grand literary adventure
Sonlight 400 teams two 18-week courses, American Government and Economics, with a 36-week American Literature course. The first offers a view of not only how our government works, but also why it works as it does. The second demystifies one of the least understood disciplines in all of academics. The third offers a delightful encounter with a catalog of literary classics.
Designed for independent study, Sonlight 400 is suited for 17- and 18-year-old students and advanced 16-year-olds. My daughter, Amy Lykosh, has helped create a robust program that will challenge and intrigue your high schoolers. Students who have used other upper-level Sonlight studies will be best equipped for the rigors of level 400.
What you'll study
Most Americans think our government is pretty complicated. Interestingly enough, the Founding Fathers designed it that way! Sonlight 400 unravels their reasoning and walks you through the complexity as it has played out throughout our history up to the current political scene. Lessons cover the time of Colonial government before the American Revolution to current practices on the Beltway: a whirlwind tour, but an intensely rewarding one.
After an overview of government types, we begin with the Constitution. Students discover how two centuries of social currents and historical events have altered Americans' understanding of this document: Jeffersonian Democracy, Lincoln's presidency, the incredible increase in the federal government during the 20th century and more.
Upon completing Sonlight 400, your students will know about the House Ways and Means committee, the reason most controversial Supreme Court rulings come in June, and the difference between caucuses and primaries — these and other terms that are common in the everyday news we hear.
As students mature and prepare to contribute to our world, we also want to equip them with a practical understanding of how an economy functions and the part they play. Thinkwell's acclaimed online program, along with the Biblically based text, Money, Possessions and Eternity, and the delightful "economic romance," The Invisible Heart, combine to offer a balanced view of topics from basic economic theory to trade practices and more.
Goals for Sonlight 400
We created this program to help your students have a working knowledge of the United States government, a Constitutional Federated Republic (not a democracy). We want them to better understand their country and its history, to know their rights and duties as citizens and to comprehend that economics is about more than money.
Sonlight 400 teaches students to step back and ask questions behind the issues. If we lived in the days of the Boston Tea Party, we would not only ask the question everyone else was asking (Which side are you on?), but also the ethical question: Is destruction of property wise, necessary and appropriate? As we consider current unemployment and outsourcing of jobs, we might ask the obvious "why?"
As they encounter a broad picture of American politics and economic practices, students will learn some uncomfortable truths. We look at the history of what our government has done, both good and bad. As students ponder foundational issues, we present different sides, enabling them to see beyond surface rhetoric and think for themselves.
In the end, we desire to equip individuals to employ Scriptural values and make informed assessments as they evaluate governmental policies and actions and prepare for a lifetime of citizenship.
Sonlight 400 provides options
A Sonlight high school program typically combines two 36-week courses: History and Literature. Our recommended programs work well for most families. You may use the complete 400 program or customize your experience.
To customize, select any History/Bible 100-300 course (or, Government 400 AND Economics). Combine with any Literature/Language Arts 100-400 course to build the program that meets your student's interests and academic goals.
All benefits apply to the complete program that you create.
With History 400, you receive:
Government 400 is designed for your student's independent study. The Government and Bible Student Guide provides daily reading assignments, along with additional notes and questions to reinforce reading and aid understanding. Use your accompanying Parent Guide to follow along, monitor learning and discuss, as desired.
Government / Civics
Your primary text, Basic American Government, provides an excellent overview of the background to the Constitution, the Constitution itself and what has happened historically to bring its interpretation to its current state. For balance, we include the popular and highly palatable Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Government and Politics.
Other books in your Government 400 course unearth fascinating details and survey the subject broad and deep. A few highlights:
- Our three-branch government explained: Get inside the presidential election process, a summary of the Supreme Court and a complete behind-the-scenes explanation of Congress.
- Encounter a powerful story about the need for the Civil Rights movement.
- Liberal? Conservative? Erase any confusion, as differences in today's parties are clarified.
Civil Law of the Bible
Should religious truth influence civil government? The politically correct answer is no. The Sonlight 400 Bible and Theology program challenges that answer.
You and your students will interact with Scripture in an ambitious new way. Two thought-provoking books, God and Politics and Truth and Transformation, ask you to question assumptions and serve as your guide to examine civil government through a Biblical lens.
With Economics, You Receive:
As with its upper-level counterparts, students can readily and successfully study Economics on their own. Your Instructor's Guide (with two lesson plan options, general and AP* prep) provides daily assignments, helpful notes, thought-provoking questions and answers, too — all of which reinforce your student's reading and understanding.
Students will encounter the 18-week Economics course in an inviting way. From Bible-focused journal questions that offer insight into God's perspective on money and other earthly treasures, to challenging computer-graded exercises, this course readies your children for college and life. Students will find a solid foundation that helps develop good stewardship values to guide them over time.
With Literature 400, you receive:
Literature 400 takes learners on a yearlong adventure of independent study. The Literature and Language Arts Student Guide provides daily reading and writing assignments, along with additional notes and questions that reinforce and challenge your student. The accompanying Parent Guide keeps you in touch and on track, so you can come alongside at any point in your student's learning.
Curious how it works? Get a free IG sample here.
Literature 400 is a 36-week opportunity for upper-level students to immerse themselves in the best of the best — highlights and hallmarks of great American literature. Students will read the well-known authors and works they should be familiar with prior to leaving high school. These include classics from literary legends such as John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, O. Henry, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain and more. We've also included more contemporary works I believe you'll enjoy, like bestselling author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard's Teaching a Stone to Talk.
This complete language arts program is fully integrated with your Sonlight 400 literature and history studies. Continue developing key skills like literary analysis, creative writing, and academic research.
Prepare for a lifetime of citizenship
Help your students live as engaged, upright citizens with this well-rounded program. Enjoy the lively conversations and fascinating discoveries sure to come your way.